Matadors take on big road challenge in No. 10 Aggies

Alonso Tacanga

The Matadors needed a last-minute goal to beat the visiting last-place team in the Big West Conference, Cal State Fullerton. Why? Well, Head Coach Terry Davila says it’s because there really is no difference between the top and the end of the standings. All teams are equally good. Northridge can benefit from their coach’s theory today when they pay a visit to UC Davis, the 10th-ranked team in the country. The Aggies, on their part, can definitely attest in favor of Davila’s statement as they’re coming off a home tie against the Titans and a shocking road loss to modest UC Riverside last week. The adverse results against the bottom-feeders of the Big West are sure to create a sense of urgency for UC Davis as they can’t afford to lose any more points to ‘inferior’ rivals. But the Matadors don’t care. They have already tied two nationally-ranked teams (UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine) on the road on back-to-back Wednesdays and know they can make it, at least, a trifecta. UC Davis forward Quincy Amarikwa, who’s scored 13 goals in 14 games, and the Aggies will have a say in the matter though.

Date: Today
Time: 3 p.m.
Place: Aggie Soccer Stadium
Last Meeting: Nov. 2007, UC Davis 2 @ Northridge 1
Series: Aggies lead 3-2-1
Fact: UC Davis barely became a Division I team and a Big West Conference member in 2007. The Aggies justified the promotion by making last season’s NCAA Tournament.

Matador to watch: Senior Kevin Guppy, goalkeeper

Guppy is the backbone of the Matador goal-preventing unit. The senior had a stellar performance during Northridge’s last road outing a week ago against UC Irvine and recorded nine saves as CSUN preserved a valuable scoreless tie. Now, on the road again, facing the conference’s top scorer, Quincy Amarikwa, it’s safe to say Guppy will have to make at least a few saves for his team to leave Davis having collected some points.

Aggie to watch: Senior Quincy Amarikwa, forward

Amarikwa has exploded this season. He leads the Big West in goals (13), points (27), and game-winners (4). The star wasn’t able to help his team on its last game due to a suspension and the Aggies fell. That must have him ticked off and ready to get back on the field. Amarikwa is a two-time conference Player of the Week award-recipient this season. The Northridge defenders will have their work cut out for them.

What did he say?

‘Every team in the Big West is even. It’s going to be a tough league. You do this league twice, there’d probably be different standings. They’re tough teams, they know how to compete and they’re well-coached. There’s a lot of talent in this league.’

Terry Davila, Head Coach on the Matadors’ Big West opponents, ranked and unranked.